Our last Friends of the Smokies hike involved hiking, of course, and shopping at Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
Because of colds, bugs and even the sign of flu, only seven hiked up Mingus Creek Trail. It doesn’t matter – seven or 27 – we had a good time. We walked up following the creek and stopped at a tiny old dam.
For the first time, I really noticed that there was a concrete wall and pipes sticking out of the ground. Could that have been the water supply to the CCC camp below?
We continued up and on the way down, took the trail to the Mingus Cemetery. It’s a large cemetery with stone stumps and not one head stone with a name. Still, someone had put a rock on the stump, to show that it had been visited, that the deceased had not been forgotten.
After the hike, we stopped to study Mingus Mill. Though it was closed for the season, we photographed it and saw the large millstones outside.
Then we headed to Oconaluftee Visitor Center for shopping and music. How could I forget the music?
There were traditional mountain music and Hawaiian strumming. Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Ranger at OVC was jamming with the best of them. Who knew there was such talent?
A great way to end the year. Merry Christmas, everyone.